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Soviet Youth Films under Brezhnev: Watching Between the Lines

Klimova, Olga (2013) Soviet Youth Films under Brezhnev: Watching Between the Lines. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The central argument of my dissertation emerges from the idea that genre cinema, exemplified by youth films, became a safe outlet for Soviet filmmakers’ creative energy during the period of so-called “developed socialism.” A growing interest in youth culture and cinema at the time was ignited by a need to express dissatisfaction with the political and social order in the country under the condition of intensified censorship. I analyze different visual and narrative strategies developed by the directors of youth cinema during the Brezhnev period as mechanisms for circumventing ideological control over cultural production. During this time of ideological tension, these directors used specific cinematic Aesopian language to create covert political commentary by drawing parallels between, on the one hand, power relations between the young characters and their families and unproductive educators; and, on the other hand, the power relations between Soviet citizens and a largely ineffective government. To avoid censorship, the practitioners of Aesopian language relied on those genres that allowed for more productive use of narrative and cinematic devices. Regularly employing such Aesopian devices as allegories, allusions, citations, ellipses, parody, and other devices, Soviet filmmakers were able covertly to address various problematic topics and raise questions that were relevant and important for the late-Soviet culture under Brezhnev. My dissertation examines the specific ways in which filmmakers during Brezhnev’s government used the images of teenagers and young people to allude to overall changes in behavior and attitudes toward ideology and authority among different generations of Soviet people.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Klimova, Olgavok1@pitt.eduVOK1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.eduCONDEE
Committee MemberPadunov, Vladimirpadunov@pitt.eduPADUNOV
Committee MemberBirnbaum, David J.djbpitt@pitt.eduDJBPITT
Committee MemberFischer, Lucylfischer@pitt.eduLFISCHER
Committee MemberProkhorov, Alexander
Date: 30 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 May 2013
Approval Date: 30 September 2013
Submission Date: 13 August 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 342
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soviet cinema, youth films, Brezhnev culture, Brezhnev cinema, Aesopian language, allegory, late-Soviet culture, film censorship, children's cinema
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 11:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:14


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